Local comment from the BDonline archive:
Elaine Napier | 19 February 2013 1:10 pm
As one whose family owns property by Cremer Street, and whose ancestors lived and worked in Bethnal Green and South Hackney as orris (specialist silk and gold/silver thread) weavers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, I am bitterly disappointed to learn that the Geffrye Museum considers it appropriate to demolish one of the few remaining 1800s properties in the area to replace is with a new-build extension to the museum.
The Geffrye Museum is dedicated to showing the public the lifestyles of past centuries in East London. Surely they can see that the Marquis of Lansdowne is a serious example of the sort of public house that was fundamental to the lifestyles of those who occupied this wonderful part of London in its fascinating history. There must be a whole range of ways in which the property could be used to enhance the Museum itself, or to be restored as a separate public house which would act as a source of revenue for the Museum as part of the revival of this exciting area..
Local Authorities are far too quick to allow the destruction of the taxpayers’ heritage. Thousands of houses were demolished in the East End in the post-war period, delivering in their place unattractive concrete blocks which quickly demonstrated that the quality of the building was poor and the culture of the estates did not meet the needs of the people. Please try to be a bit more imaginative about how you deliver the future for these areas. Many beautiful squares and terraces could have been saved and restored to the kind of homes that people actually want. My great-great-grandparents began their married life in 1841 in the terraced house which is now number 7 Buckfast Street (formerly Abbey Street), E2. This charming little house is still in excellent condition, providing a happy home for a 21st Century family instead of sticking them in chilly isolation in some pile of ugliness way up in the sky.
Please try to preserve the real appearance of the East End and give its people the sort of environment they want. Extensions can fit in almost anywhere. The loss of original historic buildings is a real tragedy.